Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Dutchman n.

[Ger. Deutsch, German]

1. (US) anyone of German origin; occas. of Scandinavian origin (see cits. 1869, 1883, 1898).

[[UK]J. de Trevisa Higden (Rolls) I 253: Þe woodnesse of Duchesmen [furorem Teutonicorum [OED]].
[[UK]Pylgremage of the Sowle (Caxton 1483) iv. xxx. 80: Be it duysshe man or lumbard or ony other nacion [OED]].
[UK]R. Brome A Novella V i: You say that this is a Dutchman sir, that wrong’d you.
[UK]Marvell Rehearsal Transpos’d 7: But a bulky Dutchman diverted it quite from its first Institution, and [...] hath pestred [sic] the World ever since with the gross Bodies of their German Divinity.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 94: A strammelling two-handed Harlot, Grenadier-height, and limb’d like a Bacon-fac’d Dutchman.
[US]Maryland Journal 24 Nov. n.p.: This affidfavit man is a Dutchman, with whom I was obliged to converse by an interpreter.
[US]M. Cutler in Life, Journals and Corr. (1888) I 404: This is a good house, kept by a Dutchman [in Pennsylvania], very obliging; good food for man and horse .
[US]Mass. Spy 12 Nov. n.p.: A piece of sliced cabbage, by Dutchmen ycleped cold slaw.
[US]Balance 10 Mar. 75: I think they call him German, though he is not a Dutchman.
[US]Mass. Spy 4 Nov. n.p.: It is said the Dutchman got cloyed with her name, so dissonant with his beloved sour-krout and buttermilk.
[US]Congressional Globe 28 Dec. 76: I would gather the light of these documents into a focus so bright and so hot that every Dutchman in Maryland and Pennsylvania might light his pipe by it.
[UK]W.G. Simms Kinsmen ii 27: The dull, drowsy, beef-eyed Dutchmen,... the Hessian boobies.
[UK]T.H. Gladstone Englishman in Kansas 117: There were Germans also – called by the Americans ‘Dutchmen’ – who, intent on making a livelihood, have settled so thickly in Kansas.
[UK]F. Whymper Travel and Adventure in Alaska 304: San Francisco is full of bar-rooms, ‘saloons,’ and Dutch lager bier cellars (the German family are all called Dutchman in San Francisco, and the same title is given usually to Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes – I have even known a Switzer called a Dutchman!).
[US]C. White Magic Penny in Darkey Drama 5 Act I: Some Dutchman will get hold on ’em, and sell ’em for smoked beef.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 82: People throughout the Union are in the habit of confounding the Dutchman and the German, and call them all Dutchmen. It must be admitted that there is a good excuse for this confusion. Archbishop Trench tells us that, ‘Till late in the seventeenth century, Dutch meant (in England) generally German, and a Dutchman a native of Germany, while what we now term a Dutchman would have been named a Hollander’.
[UK]W.C. Russell Sailors’ Lang. xiii: It is peculiar to the sailor to call all foreigners ‘Dutchmen’. No matter whether a man be a Dane, a German, a Norwegian, a Swede.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 27 Oct. 6/1: A fat Dutchman over fifty years of age is never [a] danger [to] us, especially when you hear his daily accumulation of beer swash about in him.
[US]J.A. Riis How the Other Half Lives 24: The Irishman [...] shares his lodging with perfect impartiality with the Italian, the Greek, and the ‘Dutchman.’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 23 Dec. 1/5: The noblist among furriners are the Dutchmin and Schandinavers.
[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 70: ‘Come, sing out there, some of you,’ roars the big Swedish mate [...] ‘I didn't come here to sing, sorr,’ says Derry. ‘What did you come here for?’ ‘To lick a Dutchman, begorr’ .
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Hebe of Grasstree’ in Below and On Top [Internet] Cleever was a Swede; but Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Belgians, Germans, Austrians, and men of Holland are all Dutchmen out-back.
[US]H.E. Hamblen Yarns of Bucko Mate 37: He snatched a pot, pan, and spoon from a Swede, and handed it to me, saying: ‘For God’s sake, man, pitch in ter the hash, an’ never let a Dutchman dip in ahead of ye!’ .
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 16 Feb. 306: But the Dutchmen were thoroughly cowed.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 12 June 1/6: Still everyone admitted that as far as things had gone / The Dutchmen’s choice of music had been grand.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. vii: The Dutchman on the corner knew she was good for any amount within reason.
[US]H.G. van Campen ‘Our Theatrical Boarding House’ in L.A. Herald 26 Nov. 6/5: ‘An’ who was it last evenin’ over’n the Dutchman’s wanted to stand on the table an’ sing “The Rosary”?’.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 4 Mar. 3/2: His accent / It did have a furrin ring / Like a Dutchman.
[US]H.S. Truman letter 4 Aug. in Poen Letters Home (1984) 52: My 194 men think right well of me and they are not going to let any Dutchman run away with me.
[US]M. Levin Reporter 323: The old dutchman is scared as firecrackers. ‘Ayah, he says, ‘vot iss it?’.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 9: So I went back up to that Dutchman.
[US]I. Wolfert Tucker’s People (1944) 364: Love thy neighbour if he’s not a Catholic or a Jew or a Seventh Day Adventist or a nigger or a greaser or a ginzo or a hunkie or a bohunk or a frog or a spick or a limey or a heine or a mick or a chink or a jap or a dutchman or a squarehead or a mockie or a slicked-up greaseball from the Argentine.
[UK]K. Amis letter 9 Jan. in Leader (2000) 227: That poxrotted Dutchman [i.e. Beethoven] gets all the splash.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 85: He’s the only Dutchman I know that hasn’t got about four jobs.
[US]Maledicta II:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 156: Dutch, Dutchman, Dutchie Anyone from the Netherlands, Germany, or other countries speaking German and German dialects.
[US](con. 1940s) C. Bram Hold Tight (1990) 76: There were even customers who asked for Juke – Dutchmen and limeys, mostly.

2. a German-registered vessel.

[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 333: I remembered that Lynch had a score to settle with me, and I could escape his clutches by going in the Dutchman [...] So when madame came in again, I asked her about the German bark.

3. a bar- or saloon-keeper [Germans were trad. linked to the brewing industry].

[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 12: ‘De Dutchman puts de bottle up an’ Muggins pours out ’nough t’ wash his mitts in’.
[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 17: ‘Say,’ said Johnnie the Gent to the Night Hawk Cabby, as they hit the trail for the Dutchman’s.
[US]D. Runyon ‘For a Pal’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 573: A Dutchman’s in Hoboken where there is some very nice real beer. [Ibid.] 574: Although [...] the Dutchman is nothing but a Polack.
[US]Maledicta III:2 158: Dutchman n [...] 2: The neighborhood bartender or saloonkeeper.

4. (orig. US) a foreigner, one who does not speak English well.

[US]H.E. Rollins ‘A West Texas Word List’ in DN IV:iii 226: dutchman, n. Contemptuous name applied to foreigners or to a native one dislikes.
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 68: [of a Swede] I’ll flatten that Dutchman if it’s the last thing I ever do.

In compounds

crying Dutchman (n.)

(Aus. und.) a flashy but worthless watch and chain, used by confidence tricksters.

[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 June 21/2: Round the back of the stand he brought to light a brand-new ‘block and tackle.’ One look, and I classified it: ‘You’ve touched a bloomin’ “cryng Dutchman,’ a watch- dropper, you fool!’ .
Dutchman’s headache (n.)

a state of drunkenness.

in W.C. Hazlitt Eng. Proverbs (in Apperson).

In phrases

big Dutchman (n.)

(US) a general term of disparagement.

[US]Maledicta III:2 158: Dutchman, big n A general term of disparagement.
I’m a Dutchman

see separate entry.